Chris Burkard’s Adventure Van Is the Mystery Machine on Adrenaline
See how a NatGeo photog gets the heck outta Dodge
“Have camera, will travel.”
Chris Burkard’s Instagram bio could use a slight edit.
“Have camera and an immaculately retooled 2006 Mercedez Benz Sprinter, will travel,” might give followers a clearer picture.
The 31-year-old adventure photographer, famous for photos of aurora borealis, surf swells in the far north and rock formation temples, recently paired with Advanture Company to turn a lightly used van he found in rural Michigan into the ultimate home on wheels.
In a video posted by the team, Burkard details the van’s several amenities, including a Yeti 1250 Power Generator, Boulder 90 Solar Panels, a Marine-approved sound system, built-in cabinetry for duffels and tripods … and an easily assembled bed. A ladder leads to the top of the van, with proper rigging for Burkard to set up and snap the magic he then shares with his three million followers.
The van, which Burkard calls, “a figurative passport to take me to the places I love,” was specifically chosen for its low miles and diesel engine, and took six months to complete. Burkard decided to forego a sink or kitchen in order to maximize storage space, but he did include a high-power portable shower, maintaining that van life doesn’t have to be smelly.
As for looks, the caravan was given a sweet paint job, transformed from its sorry white to a handsome green ideal for adventure cruisin’.